Argentina: Money exchange with the blue dollar

Argentina Tip: benefit from the favorable Blue Dollar exchange rate without risk

In 2015, I had already reported in my South America travel blog about how much the Blue Dollar had improved my travel budget in Argentina.

The following example quickly shows that there is a lot of money involved here if you do the exchange accordingly.

Official exchange rate: 1`000 USD = 107`962 Peso
Current exchange rate: 1`000 USD = 204`102 Peso according to (January 2022).

Due to the strict monetary policy of the government, a parallel market for dollars has been created. Since the locals hardly get USD in the normal way, for example to invest their assets in a supposedly safe currency, the unofficial exchange rate has continued to diverge. Since 2015, however, the rate has settled quite stable as above.

Of course, it is not everyone's cup of tea to follow the often somewhat sleazy guys in the shopping malls of the inner cities with their "Cambio, US Dollar call" into a backyard to change cash worth 1`000 USD. 

Also you get the "Bluedollar" exchange rate only against cash - and are served at the ATM or when paying with the credit card exclusively with the official exchange rate.

Argentina Tip: benefit from the favorable Blue Dollar exchange rate without risk
So there were quite a few travelers, who have supplied themselves at the ATM / exchange offices in the neighboring countries in Chile/Uruguay/Bolivia again with fresh US dollars, in order to be able to profit then in Argentina on the street again from the Bluedollar exchange rate.

Of course, this backyard exchange raises the pulse, since you can not exclude a robbery or counterfeit money, the guys will definitely try to miscount in their favor. Who likes can handle this today but also much much more comfortable.

But today you can also profit from the good exchange rate in a relaxed way:

As is well known, Western Union allows you to send money. Also money to yourself. Withdrawn from the credit card and paid out in cash at a bluedollar rate.

The fees per transaction are with 4.90 € or 5.90 CHF thereby quite marginal and are fixed charged, regardless of the amount of the transfer. Here is a rather clear visualization:

This is not rocket science and can be done online at Western Union by anyone. You can withdraw the money in Western Union branches, which are mostly located in urban areas.

Please don't get too cocky - at the end of your trip you can only change back pesos worth 100 USD. 

The above example with the exchange rate of 16.12.2020 illustrates well that the Western Union exchange rate is often even better than the official Blue Dollar rate.

This Article is also available in german language: 4x4tripping

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